How to Buy Children’s Shoes (video)

A well-made shoe that fits right is not only more comfortable for your children, but can help them avoid injury. Do you know what features you should look for in your child’s footwear?

“A pair of well-made shoes can keep children safe from foot problems such as sprains and strains, both in class and on the playground,” says Michael J. King, DPM, American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) President.

The APAM offers these tips for how to buy children’s shoes.

  • Children’s feet change with age. Shoe and sock sizes may change every few months as a child’s feet grow. Shoes that don’t fit properly can aggravate the feet. Always measure a child’s feet before buying shoes, and watch for signs of irritation.
  • Never hand down footwear. Just because a shoe size fits one child comfortably doesn’t mean it will fit another the same way. Also, sharing shoes can spread fungi like athlete’s foot and nail fungus.
  • Examine the heels. Children may wear through the heels of shoes quicker than outgrowing shoes themselves. Uneven heel wear can indicate a foot problem that should be checked by a podiatrist.
  • Take your child shoe shopping. Every shoe fits differently. Letting a child have a say in the shoe buying process promotes healthy foot habits down the road.
  • Always buy for the larger foot. Feet are seldom precisely the same size. Buy shoes that do not need a “break-in” period. Shoes should be comfortable immediately. Also make sure to have your child try on shoes with socks or tights, if that’s how they’ll be worn.

To find out how to tell if a shoe is good enough for your child’s feet, including how to perform the simple “1,2,3 Test,” watch the APMA video:  


Next: Tips for Buying Children’s Athletic Footwear

Tips for Buying Children’s Athletic Footwear

A child’s basketball shoe:

  • should have a thick, stiff sole that helps give support while running and landing from jumps to the basket;
  • incorporate high ankle construction that supports the ankle during quick changes in direction; and
  • have the strongest support on either side of the ankle.

A child’s court shoe:

  • should support both sides of the foot, due to the quick lateral movements and weight shifts in court sports; and
  • provide a flexible sole for fast changes of direction.

A child’s running shoe:

  • should provide maximum shock absorption to help runners avoid ailments such as shin splints and knee pain; and
  • control the way your child’s heel strikes the ground, so the rest of the foot can fall correctly.

Athletic socks:

  • should be made of a natural/synthetic blend, as this helps “wick” away moisture best; and
  • not contain any large seams that can cause blisters or irritation.




K s Goh
KS Goh6 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Deepti P.
Deepti Patil6 years ago


Dana A.
Dana A6 years ago

I took my daughter to Striderite for all her shoe fittings...,,now we have apps!! Man..I'm getting old!!!

Hege Torset
Hege Torset6 years ago


Abbe A.
Azaima A6 years ago


Penny C.
penny C6 years ago

Thank you.

Will Rogers
Will Rogers6 years ago

Kids hooves are always growing. You get them the right size today and tomorrow they're bleating on about. 'My shoes are too tight!' So I've always got to get him shoes at least 2 sizes too big so now he's walking round looking like he's Krusty the clown and his best friend Max seems to have the same problem with his parents and he looks like he's wearing pumped up short skis. Hand me downs! I'm waiting for some hand me ups! They're coming up to my size in a few months, surely with the amount of footwear they consume, soon I'll be able to go down to the gym in style. ..or at least walk on water..

Ellen Mccabe
Ellen m6 years ago

At 28 & 36 my kids buy their own, (thank you lord!) but I do have a new grandaughter, so I may as well learn the latest, as o'm a bit rusty to say the least.
But when I first saw the article it brought back memories of my mom and I at Buster Browns or Striderite, and how I went the same route with my own daughter when she was young.
Boy, I must have really justed dated myself!
Is BB even still around?
Thanks for the article..

Dadorac C.
Dadorac C.6 years ago

you can measure kids feet using this free iphone app called ShoeSizR...

Rosie Lopez
Rosie Lopez6 years ago

great article thanks!!